Staff Profile - Paloma

22 Jul 2021

Paloma is a Community Builder who works as part of Turning Point's team that provides telephone & online services to people whose lives are affected by alcohol, other drugs and gambling.

 

Person looking at computer screen

Turning Point is made up of a diverse team that is committed to removing stigma around drug and alcohol addiction and providing support for those that need it. We like to profile the great work that our teams do and give people insights into what it’s like to work in the addiction treatment, training, and research sector. This is Paloma’s story.

Meet Paloma (Turning Point’s newest employee)

Paloma became interested in working at Turning Point after completing her final university placement with Turning Point’s Structured Intervention Team. 
“I had not considered the drug and alcohol space before the placement. Then I realised I really liked it.” she said.
“I’m from Mexico, which is a country that has been tainted by the whole drug situation in the past decades. I wish we had something similar to the services available here. This is just incredible to be a part of."

Paloma moved to Australia from Mexico to complete a Masters in Social Work. Previously, she was a journalist for five years, she says applying the skills from her previous work to her current role within the Online Services has been easy and rewarding. 

“This job is a good fit for me because it is managing an online platform which I have been doing all of my career.“  

What does Paloma do?
Paloma is part of a team that provides telephone & online services to people whose lives are affected by alcohol, other drugs and problem gambling.

These services also include online community forums, available through Turning Point’s Gambling Help Online and Counselling Online services, providing a space for people affected by addiction to connect with each other and offer support.

The whole team is dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming space in the forums . Paloma reports - “It’s not just banning people who come and post spam or things that break community guidelines. It’s more so creating engagement and maintaining engagement and increasing the number of (service) users.“

These are spaces for people to connect and find additional support when they are making a change to their drinking, drug use or gambling. It can be particularly helpful for people who have hit a bit of a bump in the road and need some additional support; for those making a change for the first time, or, for family members and friends.

“When they have lapses, they can come in and if they are feeling guilty or having negative thoughts it’s just about cheering for them and motivating them.” 

As well as supporting the forum, Paloma is also involved in creating activities and information resources to increase consumer engagement. She has been working alongside the Media and Comms team at Turning Point to create new, helpful resources for people who are making a change.

“We join in on the content meetings and I have started helping them write blog posts. I just did the cocaine guide and I’m working on some more guides.” 

What is the work culture like at Turning Point?

Although she has only been here for a short period of time, Paloma says she has found it easy to fit in at Turning Point.

“Even though I'm in a small team and I am a new person, the phone counsellors have come and introduced themselves and the shift supervisors are really helpful and ask how we are going.”

“I feel part of the broad team and I also see people I worked with on my placement and they always say hi.”

Paloma has been guided in an intensive training process as part of her induction, which orients her with the clinical framework of the service, training in the technical aspects of our systems and mentoring from senior staff within her team. 

This is a standard part of inducting team members at Turning Point so that they feel comfortable with their role and feel well equipped to provide high quality care to everyone that they encounter.

“The work culture is not throwing you out into the unknown, they really provide you with the tools to be prepared for all circumstances.” says Paloma.

Interested in working at Turning Point? 
 
Even though Paloma did her placement at Turning Point, she did not start working here straight after she graduated. As she was interested in working with our team, she registered to receive notifications of job ads in the Careers section of the Eastern Health website.

“I applied for a phone counselling position initially. However, I was contacted later for an online position, which made more sense given my professional background.”

If you are interested in working with Paloma and the team sign up today to see what opportunities we have for you!